When Connor Leipold, BS Management ’14, started his college search, he knew he was ready to leave his home state of Wisconsin to pursue new opportunities.
“I immediately started looking on the east coast and then Mason popped up. The main thing was distance from home and wanting to be outside of a larger city. With D.C. being so close to Fairfax, that worked out perfectly,” Leipold said.
After completing his freshman year at Mason as an astronomy major, he realized it wasn’t the career he wanted and switched to management.
During his time at Mason, Leipold joined Chi Psi Fraternity and served as its president his junior year. He called the fraternity a “great experience,” especially as an out-of-state student.
“Coming from Wisconsin to Virginia, I knew literally no one. I was really lucky that a few of the guys contacted me and asked me to join,” he said.
Leipold believes his time at Mason prepared him for the different professional roles he has pursued after college. After graduation, he worked in the marketing department at the Washington Capitals as the game entertainment coordinator. He was responsible for executing all in-game promotional activities that occurred in the Verizon Center, directing on-ice ceremonies and pregame activities, and managing the cheerleading squad.
He’s currently transitioning to his new position as associate manager of government relations with SC Johnson, and the business courses he took at Mason have really aided him in this process.
The capstone course in particular, which all undergraduate business students must take, was beneficial because “it was a great team building classroom experience” that required students to work together to build a business from the ground up. The class also equipped him with presentation and public speaking skills, which he uses in his role with SC Johnson.
SC Johnson is headquartered in Wisconsin, but runs a small office out of Washington, D.C., where Leipold and his coworkers focus on various domestic and international affairs. Currently, Leipold is closely monitoring healthcare reform on Capitol Hill and reporting back to SC Johnson’s human resources team.
He spends most of his days out of the office, attending hearings on Capitol Hill or meetings with healthcare trade associations.
Leipold plans on returning to school to pursue his MBA within the next two years. “I think the knowledge and experience gained in a master’s program would be invaluable in today's ever-changing business environment and would be very attractive to potential employers,” he said.